2022 has been a year of much excitement at Dawsons, with the sale of two celebrity watches, and the incredible discovery of a rare painting that made international headlines when it sold at auction for an astonishing £255,000.
The last 12 months have been packed with highlights, and so many fascinating stories that have brought joy and amazement across the Dawsons team. Whilst it is difficult to select just ten, it is with great pleasure and pride that we share our top 10 star lots of the past year.
Perhaps our most exciting discovery at Dawsons to date, in March we found this phenomenal Renaissance painting in a North London bungalow belonging to a 90-year-old lady who had no idea of its value.
After a heated bidding war, the painting sold for £255,000. The vendor was suffering with dementia but thanks to the extraordinary result received at auction, her family have been able to ensure the best care and accommodation for her so that she can live in comfort without the worry of care fees. It was a truly wonderful and heart-warming story to be a part of.
This Louis XIV period bureau sold for £42,000 in March, after some exceedingly strong bidding.
The piece is decorated with whimsical scenes in the style of Jean Berain, and features some truly beautiful details, including a lambrequin canopy inlaid with mother of pearl, stained ivory, hardstone and copper foil.
In February, we were lucky enough to welcome this stunning 11.03ct diamond ring through our doors, and another great auction of strong bidding ensured its sale for £51,000.
The Fancy Light Yellow is flanked by two baguette-cut diamonds, and was originally bought at Kutchinsky’s in the 1960s. This was the period where the business was in its prime, having relocated to Knightsbridge in 1958 due to exceptional growth, and the brilliance of the ring reflects the level of craftmanship Kutchinsky were incorporating into their designs as a result.
A spectacular ring, and an even more spectacular result for the client.
It was almost a year ago that we kicked off our 2022 auction calendar with this fantastic result.
Brought to us through a probate valuation, the piece dates back to around 1925, and although unmarked, was possibly by Cartier. It was set within an exquisite diamond surround, and embellished with rubies and diamonds.
The family had inherited it amongst other items of jewellery but were unsure as to whether it was simply costume jewellery, or something more valuable, and so it was to their great surprise that the pendant sold for £39,000.
This sculpture was another product of a probate valuation, and had been purchased by the deceased’s father, Sir Eric Walter White (former Director of the Arts Council) from the ‘Exhibition of Barbara Hepworth’s Sculpture’ at Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1962.
The deceased, Sarah White, had founded ‘New Beacon Books’, the first publisher of authors of colour in the UK, alongside her husband John La Rose, also a founder of the Caribbean Movement.
Pieces of Caribbean Art also featured in the June sale, alongside this wonderful Hepworth piece that sold for £36,000.
In keeping with Hepworth, this Rolex Sea Dweller 'Double Red' that sold in September was actually linked to the sculptor.
This beautifully aged 1968 Double Red, had belonged to the sculptor Peter William Nicholas who worked with acclaimed sculptors, including Hepworth. It was bought new and worn by Peter throughout his career and until his death, whereby his family brought it to Dawsons where it sold for an incredible £31,500.
The Audemars Piguet 18ct yellow gold Perpetual Calendar sold for £18,000 and boasts very exciting provenance.
The watch was gifted to Peter by a Saudi Sheik in the 1970s, for his performance as Lawrence of Arabia. He was offered a selection of watches to choose from, and he selected the Audemars due to his sound knowledge of watches.
The watch has many stories behind it, having been worn in the presence of some highly influential people and for many public appearances; it was once even bitten off by a horse!
As well as the fantastic auction result, having the pleasure of talking to the vendor about Peter and learning more about his remarkable life and career, is what makes it such a memorable sale for the team here at Dawsons.
Selling for £14,500 in September, the waistcoat boasts six bullion embroidered Imperial dragon roundels with wave borders and a quilted interior.
The strikingly colourful embroidery demonstrates high levels of craftmanship and exceptional attention to detail, making it a truly one of a kind piece.
Joe scarborough paintings
Born in Sheffield 1938, Joe Scarborough is a true Yorkshireman through and through. His vibrant works humorously depict everyday scenes of life in Yorkshire, particularly Sheffield.
Scarborough's paintings are extremely popular in Sheffield and are featured in major collections in public art galleries across the city and universities. His works have proved just as popular outside of Yorkshire, with many adorning homes and public buildings across the world.
In November, we sold two lots of Scarborough’s paintings which both received a high volume of interest in the build-up to the sale. One lot of three paintings sold for a fantastic £13,000, and the other lot, comprised of a further two pieces, sold for £7,500.
In our December Fine Art, Antiques & Jewellery sale, we sold three large diamond rings, including this 8.81ct Art Deco style cocktail ring that sold for £41,000.
The diamond was unset and sent to DeBeers to be examined and assessed, undergoing advanced technological testing in line with RJC standards. Testing our diamonds allows buyers to buy with confidence, having been given all the necessary information required to make a substantial purchase.
Having been graded and certified, the diamond was then reset and returned to us for valuation. Our team of jewellery experts follow a strict practice when it comes to valuing diamonds, basing all estimates on carat weight, clarity, colour, and cut.
The gold sovereign is an iconic form of British currency, that has been struck since 1817, and originally holding a nominal value of £1 Sterling. It was originally a circulated coin that was accepted as currency, but today is much sought after by collectors. All sovereigns have a baseline gold value, but the rarer the coin, the higher it's value and the more collectable it is. Coins such as the George III 1819 sovereign is famously rare, with only 10 said to be in existance, making them of considerably higher value than most other sovereigns.
In October we sold this Jubilee set of Victorian gold sovereigns that date back to 1887. The set is comprised of a £5, double sovereign, sovereign & half sovereign, selling for £3,300.
Do you have any fine art, antiques or jewellery that you are thinking about selling?
The team of experts at Dawsons are always happy to provide a free appraisal in person at our saleroom in London and our valuation office in Berkshire, or in the comfort of your own home via a home visit or our online valuation service.
We can also provide insurance valuations, where required.
Please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
0207 431 9445 / info@DawsonsAuctions.co.uk